Feathered Gods and Fishhooks: The Archaeology of Ancient Hawai‘i, Revised Edition

Paperback: $47.99
ISBN-13: 9780824894498
Published: October 2023

Additional Information

528 pages | 16 color, 255 b&w illustrations
  • About the Book
  • The first edition of Feathered Gods and Fishhooks was the pioneering synthesis of ancient Hawaiian civilization from an archaeological perspective. This long-awaited revised edition now brings the field up-to-date, incorporating the results from literally hundreds of archaeological projects undertaken throughout the Hawaiian Islands over the past thirty-five years that have benefited from tremendous technological advancements, and presents an authoritative account of the origins and progression of Hawaiian culture prior to the arrival of Europeans. Generously illustrated, this revision includes dozens of new photographs and maps, along with a selection of color plates.

    This volume, like its predecessor, provides a synthesis of Hawaiian archaeology that avoids unnecessary jargon and is comprehensible to the interested layperson, yet is sufficiently detailed to be useful to the professional archaeologist. Feathered Gods and Fishhooks begins with an explanation of archaeological practice in Hawai‘i, from antiquarian pursuits in the late nineteenth century through the development of modern research techniques, taking into account the recent tensions surrounding the significant shift of archaeology from a largely academic endeavor to a professional consulting enterprise. Following a review of environmental constraints and opportunities, and of the main kinds of archaeological evidence, the book explores the latest information on the first Polynesian settlement of Hawai‘i. To achieve a holistic view, the wide range of topics discussed in this work include material culture, agricultural systems, population size, ritual architecture variations, diversity in landscapes, and archaeological evidence for historical transformations following European contact. The final chapters survey, island-by-island, major sites and patterns of ancient settlement. In total, this book tells a story of Hawaiian history, culture, and wisdom in an attempt to preserve ancestral archaeological records.

    As with the first edition, Feathered Gods and Fishhooks: The Archaeology of Ancient Hawai‘i is an indispensable resource on the history of ancient Hawai‘i. Of particular note is the extensive bibliography, a key guide to hundreds of often difficult to locate reports and publications on Hawaiian archaeology.

  • About the Author(s)
    • Patrick Vinton Kirch, Author

      Patrick Vinton Kirch is professor of anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.
    • Mark D. McCoy, Author

      Mark D. McCoy is professor of anthropology at Florida State University in Tallahassee.